Engaging and empathetic pictures pay tribute to the courage and will to survive of a stigmatized minority in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Just as the ‘black continent’ is nothing like as monochrome as our stereotyped ideas of it, so neither are the skin tones of its inhabitants. One variant, however, here more than elsewhere, marks people out as misfits: very white skin, unusually light hair colour, blue or green eyes – people with albinism(PWA). Most of all they suffer from social stigmatization. So it is little short of a miracle how courageously that the PWA of Kinshasa try to overcome their role as outsiders. Lead by the famous Congolese albino wrestler, Mwimba Texas, they demand to be treated with respect. The photo report of Patricia Willocq helps boost the self-assurance and wants to be a testimony to hope, courage, love and success to give them the dignity they deserve.
Patricia Willocq is a freelance photographer born 1980 in the Congo. After completing her Master's degree in Translation at the Higher Institute of Translators and Interpreters in Brussels (ISTI) she decided to travel around the world and developed her photography skills along the way. Amongst the many assignments she undertakes around the world she also dedicates time to support the work of associations and NGOs fighting in the field of human rights. White Ebony, one of her last photographic essay about people with albinism in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has won a honourable mention at the Unicef Photo of the Year Award 2013 and has been exhibited at Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Belgian Parliament & Unesco amongst many other. In September 2015 she was awarded for the World's best picture on the theme of Peace at the Afred Fried Photography Award. The picture is being exhibited for one year at the Austrian Parliament & Unesco. She endeavours to avoid miserabilism and her work is often associated with projects that promote tolerance and dignity.